Solar Atmospheres of Western PA invested more than $200,000 on testing equipment and for the construction of an air-tight quality and inspection laboratory at its Hermitage, Pa., facility. The state-of-the-art lab will give customers faster cumulative turnaround times for critical vacuum heat-treating and testing jobs. A new, fully automatic Struers DuraScan 70 microhardness tester is the centerpiece of the lab. The low-load tester can read both Knoop and Vickers scales without recalibration. Final testing required for Solar’s newer processes, such as vacuum carburizing, will be enhanced with this new facility.            

Additional new Struers equipment to complement the DuraScan tester includes the Discotom-6 automatic cut-off machine, the CitoPress-1 automatic electro-hydraulic mounting press and the Tegramin-20 automatic polishing machine. A 625-square-foot air-conditioned room was created to house this technology and workspace.